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California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images

The drumbeat to turn America's lights back on is approaching a crescendo, even as the virus is in the opening stanza.

The big picture: Preempting President Trump, two groups of states are working on regional plans to lift their lockdowns as conditions permit.

  • The eastern group: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
  • The western group: California, Oregon and Washington.
  • Both groups say they'll use metrics to guide reopening, with more details expected over the coming days.

Why it matters: Trump claimed today that he is the decider on when states reopen. His tweets undermined GOP talking points and are constitutionally dubious.

  • But the underlying truth: States that are in the early stages of the outbreak are relying on his leadership to convince people to stay at home.
  • That includes major swaths of Trump country, and the president's bully pulpit could play a decisive role in ending lockdowns too soon to flatten the curve.

Between the lines: Lessons from New York, which has suffered America's worst outbreak, will form a template for rolling back restrictions in parts of the country with later projected peaks.

  • "The worst is over" in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today.
  • That could change if New Yorkers don't keep up their social distancing, he emphasized.
  • NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio noted recent declines in three key metrics: 1) positive tests; 2) patients admitted to the hospital; 3) patients admitted to the ICU.

The bottom line: More than 10,000 people have died from the coronavirus in New York alone. It's a very sad day when only 671 recorded deaths is good news.

Go deeper

Why migrants are fleeing their homes for the U.S.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios Photo: Herika Martinez /Getty Images 

Natural disasters in Central America, economic devastation, gang wars, political oppression, and a new administration are all driving the sharp rise in U.S.-Mexico border crossings — a budding crisis for President Biden.

Why it matters: Migration flows are complex and quickly politicized. Biden's policies are likely sending signals that are encouraging the surge — but that's only a small reason it's happening.

Cities' pandemic struggle to balance homelessness and public safety

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Addressing homelessness has taken on new urgency in cities across the country over the past year, as officials grapple with a growing unhoused population and the need to preserve public safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It’s led to tension when cities move in to clear encampments — often for health and safety reasons — causing some to rethink the role of law enforcement when interacting with people experiencing homelessness.

Biden to sign voting rights order to mark "Bloody Sunday" anniversary

President Biden will sign an executive order today, on the 56th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," meant to promote voting rights, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: The executive order comes as Democrats face an uphill battle to pass a sweeping election bill meant, in part, to combat a growing number of proposals introduced by Republicans at the state level that would restrict voter access.